By Paul Norman
Enve has released a new alloy hub in rim and disc brake variants, which will be ridden by Dimension Data on its BMC bikes. It follows its update in December of its carbon hubs in its premium rim brake SES wheels.
Enve has moved from DT Swiss internals to its own line, leading to a starting price reduction of around 10% to $2550 for Enve SES or G series wheels. It also means that you can now buy Enve hubs as a stand-alone item, priced at $575 a pair.
According to Enve’s MD, Jeremy Venz: “The introduction of our alloy road hubs allows us to offer greater performance per dollar to our customers. By bringing hub development in-house, we are able to lower our retail pricing while at the same time strengthening our leadership position in the road and gravel wheel aftermarkets.”
It’s taken over five years for Enve to develop its new alloy hubs, with it saying that priorities included: optimising hub shell and flange shapes for best wheel performance; achieving best in class reliability and minimal maintenance needs; and maximising ride dynamics while keeping weight competitive.
Like its carbon hubs, Enve’s alloy range uses wide flange placement for wide bracing angles and paired spoke holes for lower weight. It says that this leads to improved stiffness, greater efficiency and better ride feel.
Again following its carbon hubs, Enve uses high quality custom steel bearings rather than ceramic. It says that the difference in hardness between ceramic bearings and steel races can lead to faster wear and increased corrosion of the latter.
There are contact seal outer bearings with non-contact seal internal bearings for good rolling efficiency. Enve says this design leads to reliable running for thousands of miles. Another feature shared with the carbon hub is the Perfect Preload system, which uses a wave washer to keep consistent bearing load and eliminate play.
The tool-free freehub bodies can be swapped between Shimano-SRAM, Campagnolo and SRAM XD-R. They use a single spring 40 tooth ratchet mechanism and include a rubber gasket that can be removed to change the noise that your hub makes when freewheeling.
Rim braked alloy hubs weigh 100g front and 252g rear – that’s 352g a set – while the disc brake option comes in at 126g front and 250g rear – 376g a set. That compares with 255g a set for Enve’s rim brake carbon hubs.
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